I dunno if you use databases in your work or play – but I do. At work, I use Microsoft’s Access to create and use databases that store, sort and organize all of my data. And it’s a lot of data.
So when I realized I could really use a database at home, for The Velvet Zebra, I was annoyed that you can’t use Access on the iPad. Sure, I have it on one of my laptops, but who wants to haul that dinosaur out every time I need to update or review the Inventory? Plus I don’t carry the dinosaur around with me wherever I go, like I do the iPad. (Except on weekends, I mean sure, I carry it to work every day and use it when I’m killing time waiting for my carpooler to get off work – but I’m not a total dork – I leave it at home when I’m out doing other things)
I’d been looking around for something – unwilling to plop down too much hard earned cash on an App that I was unfamiliar with, and finding nothing out there with a free trial or free lite version that did the trick. And frankly, Access has limits in this respect. For instance, while you can do a multitude of things with data, you can’t link specific photos to individual pages in a single database.
Well after tons of research and reading of reviews, I found one I was willing to try – called Bento. Yes, it wasn’t free. It cost me $9.99 to put it on the iPad, and I can’t put it on the other iPad without buying it again. They have iPhone and Mac versions as well, but you do have to buy each one. I’m definitely going to buy one for the other iPad, so my sister can carry our inventory with her too, and maybe by Summer I’ll put it on the iPhone since we do art shows in Summer and I use the iPhone to take credit cards.
But back to Bento. It’s amazing! I’m loving it like crazy. I can load my entire Inventory on this thing, sorted any way I like, and have a photo of each item on each item’s page. Something you can’t do in Access.
One other slightly geeky thing I’ve done is use Bento for my writing database. 😉
I find I can load not only all the info for each novel written or being written, but cross reference each character in the book, their relationship to each of the other characters, and all the information I could think to add.
It’s fun 😀 I only have a couple of books loaded in right now, still working on the whole thing, but it’s awesome. A great tool for keeping track of character tidbits and minor player’s names. On the novel’s side, I’ve plugged in publication and sales data as well. It’s nice to see on one page which novel has sold how many copies and via what outlet.
For instance, I hadn’t looked in a while, so I didn’t realize I’d already reached the 25,000 books sold mark. Or that Barnes & Noble is my best source for buyers. With Bento, at the touch of a finger I can follow trends and study stats.
And yes, maybe I have been sitting here trying to find other things I could build a database for and track – – what of it? ;/
It’s just a harmless, geeky thing.